Many people are saying that the Old Jim Crow is making a roaring comeback. So many people do not know what that Old Jim Crow was like. What were the rules?
Under Old Jim Crow would you know the answers to the following?
Do you know what "reckless eyeballing" is?
Do you know what constitutes "bumptious conduct"?
What is the sunset rule?
Who gets waited on first in a store? an old black woman or a young white child if the black woman is in line before the child?
If a group containing mostly whites and one black jay walk, who gets jailed?
Answers and discussion below.....
**Reckless eyeballing was the offense of a black man who dared look at a white woman. Penalty: Physical abuse, jail or death.
*Bumptious contact was refusing to make way for white people on a sidewalk or common thorough fare. Penalty: physical abuse or verbal abuse; sometimes jail
*The sunset rule was in place in white communities where it was said that black people had to be out of the neighborhood by sunset, or face physical violence or arrest.
*In Key West Florida, it was the duty of the provost marshal (Filor) to enforce the curfew. When the bell rang at sunset the white townspeople would sing after them:
"Run Nigger Run!
Filor will get you
Wish I was in Filors place
I'd give them niggers a longer race!"
*A white person of any age gets waited on in a store before any age black person, regardless of who was there first.
*Black people were not allowed to try on shoes or clothes in department stores. They had to be bought without making sure they fit. They could not be returned.
*Even in traffic, the rule was white's first. Blacks who passed whites, or even pulled up next to them in traffic, could be fined or harassed.
*In the case of interracial collisions, only the black person would be arrested, even if not guilty.
*Black women were never to be referred to by any title of respect commonly given to white women.
*The Census Bureau was told: Report the race of nonwhite parent for persons of mixed and nonwhite races. Mixture of nonwhite races should be reported according to the race of the father.
**A statue of the Good Negro, hat in hand, eyes looking at the ground, was constructed in Natchitoches, Louisiana, as a reminder of proper subservience and of white supremacy.
Many Jim Crow laws said nothing about race. They were constructed to be used only with black people, through an unspoken agreement between law officials, elected representatives and the white community at large. So, having a dark skin, which was enough to deprive you of a job,---could lead you to be punished for being "jobless" or a vagrant. Michelle Alexander has written extensively in her book The New Jim Crow on how the penal system and mass incarceration of black people has been re-creating Jim Crow. Complete with the school to prison pipeline....the criminalizing of school infractions that lead to youth being forced into the criminal justice system, we are fighting the Demon of white supremacy and racism in their most overt forms, once again.
Here are some examples of Jim Crow Etiquette.
A Black male could not offer his hand (to shake hands) with a White male because it implied being socially equal. Obviously, a Black male could not offer his hand or any other part of his body to a White woman, because he risked being accused of rape.
Blacks and Whites were not supposed to eat together. If they did eat together, Whites were to be served first, and some sort of partition was to be placed between them.
Under no circumstance was a Black male to offer to light the cigarette of a White female — that gesture implied intimacy.
Blacks were not allowed to show public affection toward one another in public, especially kissing, because it offended Whites.
Jim Crow etiquette prescribed that Blacks were introduced to Whites, never Whites to Blacks. For example: “Mr. Peters (the White person), this is Charlie (the Black person), that I spoke to you about.”
Whites did not use courtesy titles of respect when referring to Blacks, for example, Mr., Mrs., Miss., Sir, or Ma’am. Instead, Blacks were called by their first names. Blacks had to use courtesy titles when referring to Whites, and were not allowed to call them by their first names.
If a Black person rode in a car driven by a White person, the Black person sat in the back seat, or the back of a truck.
White motorists had the right-of-way at all intersections.
Moreover, Blacks were to remember the following rules when conversing with Whites:
Never assert or even intimate that a White person is lying.
Never impute dishonorable intentions to a White person.
Never suggest that a White person is from an inferior class.
Never lay claim to, or overly demonstrate, superior knowledge or intelligence.
Never curse a White person.
Never laugh derisively at a White person.
Never comment upon the appearance of a White female.
These rules are still operative in the minds and cultural memories of many racist whites, especially in the South. In relation to white supremacy, this is what they mean when they say "We want our country back". This breaking of the etiquette of white dominance by multicultural equality is extremely scary to them. Consequently, they are itching to bring their country back by any mean necessary including a race war.
I am old enough to remember those times. My people will not go back.